The Fun Road to Branding

Current and aspiring media entrepreneurs have their work cut out for them. David Snyder, a producer, broadcast executive and CEO of Brandissimo, seemed optimistic when he discussed the direction that media innovation is taking in the future.  Drawing an example of entrepreneurship from Etsy, David told the class,

“if you want to be on the forefront of anything, you can’t be on stable grounds”.

He explained how the values and brand integrity behind Etsy carries out to the relationship that the company builds with its customer, and highlighted the importance of transparency and relating a sense of trustworthiness. Especially at a time when the same rhetoric is commonly employed throughout all channels, it becomes important to relate authenticity when conveying the motivations and goals of a brand. In David’s words this includes,

“taking care of the planet , don’t be a jerk, value customers, and offer real value”.

One of the most important elements of entrepreneurship highlighted by David included the need to plan and do ahead.

Marketing in this day and age includes a careful examination of new media opportunities. This includes being aware of elements such as SEO practices, staying mindful of keywords that the customers that you are seeking will search for online. Including a social media and digital media strategy into the marketing plan of any organization is a key component in an age when any successful company will automatically have a website, if not also a blog and a multitude of networking accounts. It is essential to not lose sight of the voice and identity of the company while planning big picture strategies. In support, Synder mentioned the importance of speaking in first person and conveying a true personality behind the brand. There is a story behind every company, and every professional team. Conveying that story and keeping to memorable, “googleable” names and branded items is key in a time where digital media marketing reigns.

David’s’s other advice included to be persistent and continue to set achievable goals that can be tackled every day by continuing to be present and doing achieving a part of the team’s goals and values everyday.

Building a community, whether online or in real life, takes a lot of team support and staying a part of the overarching conversations going on in the organization.

David himself started in traditional children’s entertainment as a content developer, and then branched out to cartoons on television. In his time in the industry David notes a big shift, especially with the shift to mobile usage. On yelp, 35% of searchers come from a mobile device, he noted. About one third of facebook users are using mobile devices. The weather channel is more mobile than ever before. It is undeniable that the prevalence of mobile devices has a serious effect on multimedia and the entertainment industry in general. 

David’s company, Brandissimo, capitalizes on the prevalence of mobile use by offering connections between brands and customers throgh online (mobile) games. I was truly and completely impressed by the quality of interactivity of the Brandissimo site. By employing a playful, relaxed approach, brands can reach their current customers, and especially future customers in a nonthreatening way that steers away from traditional marketing and public relations strategies. It helps that mobile entertainment, according to David, offers a more minimalist and utilitarian approach than a website. Phone apps such as are examples of the ease of usability and the availability of mobile devices and the content that is found on such devices. The analytics behind these apps are also easy to access on a continual basis, making it easier to constantly modify the use of said devices to fit within the needs and feedback of customers. The main focus, David explains, for projects such as his own Brandissimo, is to take a design experience perspective on multimedia.

I found myself smiling at all the nifty, clever, and funny little details on the Brandissimo site, when I had a chance to  properly check it out. It’s fun, pretty darn cute, and simple enough for almost anyone to use - signs of a truly sophisticated product. The Brandissimo way is a really successful method of engaging audiences and customers with brands, all done in a non-intimidating, easy to use, fun and playful way. I think David really understands and appreciates the idea that people want to be entertained and to enjoy their experience when interacting online, and this is something especially useful to keep in mind in a brand promoting platform. I was also impressed by the constant modification of the site due to audience feedback. As I see it, a project such as Brandissimo stands as true evidence that as media producers it is imperative that we keep in mind ways of giving back to the audience, while truly listening to audience feedback and commentary. 

This entry is part of a series based on a seminar class that I’m taking as part of the M.A. program that I am enrolled in. The class is taught by Charles Falzon, a professor and media entrepreneur. The class consists of a talk, a discussion, and an answer and question period involving distinguished media entrepreneurs and executives.

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